Nice getaway, lots of ports!: Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review by jawouds

Brilliance of the Seas 3
Member Since 2007
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Nice getaway, lots of ports!

Sail Date: January 2013
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan
We enjoyed this cruise, but we wouldn't rave about it.
Embarkation: very smooth. We arrived around 1:30 so no crowds rushing on. We were allowed to purchase 2 bottles of wine and bottled water to carry on at the liquor store right at the port - nice touch!
Room: room was fine, steward was good. You do need to request ice and robes if you want them.
Entertainment : some of the music was outstanding! In particular the Spanish guitarist and the Starlight Trio. Other entertainment was so-so, though we did enjoy the Motown group. Mercedes did a good job with the activities. The larger ships do have much. Better entertainment.
Dining: new menu was ok, but a bit disappointing. We found everything. To be rather bland. Indian dishes are no longer available and we missed them. My husband was delighted that crime br'lee is offered every evening as is shrimp cocktail, escargot,and their chocolate dessert. We are Diamond members and do. my Time Dining. We may rethink this More as our MTD experience was terrible! Our waitstaff were pleasant and personable, but were always swamped and appeared disorganized. They were not the only ones as we often saw the red coats as busy. But many "little" things added up to making it a less than satisfying experience - things like missing salt shakers and Bo butter several nights, no refills on water and iced tea, no sour cream for baked potatoes until they were cold, clearing carts set table side several nights and, well, you get the idea....Nothing that terrible, but too many too often gets annoying!

The ports were the draw for us taking this cruise and they did not disappoint. In San Juan per cruise we stayed at the Hampton. Enjoyed their Happy Hour and they even had complementary ten minute massages poolside. A very helpful desk clerk, Mia, arranged a last minute tour for us with Reuben of Pepe tours. He took us to Old Town at the start of the San Sebasti'n festival and then an informative tour of San Juan and even out to the Bacardi plant just so my husband could pick up a couple things at their gift shop. Highly recommend him!
St Thomas- We went to St John, nor of our favorite islands for snorkeling at Trunk Bay and then drinks at Woody's.
st Lucia- We booked a tour with Spenser Ambrose and enjoyed it. The land and sea tour which includes a great snorkel stop at Jalousie beach.
Guadeloupe - Most reviews have not been kind. We took the Discover tour through the ship based on CC advice and were glad we did Asti gave us a good look at the island. The botanical gardens were lovely, the waterfall was somewhat unimpressive, and the distillery a let down. Two tour busses at a tasting bar do not make for a pleasant experience. The area around the port really isn't worth walking to see. Overall, kind of so-so.
Antigua - On advice of CC, we took the See Antigua by Sea tour and thoroughly enjoyed it!! Less

Published 02/24/13

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